tornadoes and other natural disasters
A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as twisters or cyclones , although the word cyclone is used in meteorology, in a wider sense, to name any closed low pressure circulation. Tornadoes come in many shapes and sizes, but they are typically in the form of a visible condensation funnel, whose narrow end touches the earth and is often encircled by a cloud of debris and dust. Most tornadoes have wind speeds less than 110 miles per hour (180 km/h), are about 250 feet (80 m) across, and travel a few miles (several kilometers) before dissipating. The most extreme tornadoes can attain wind speeds of more than 300 miles per hour (480 km/h), stretch more than two miles (3 km) across, and stay on the ground for dozens of miles (more than 100 km). tornadoes are actually very dangerous to humans, because they pick up things and drop them back down. BILLIONS DEAD! literally, though. that's what happens when tornadoes touch down. Tornado Alley is a colloquial term for the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. The term was first used in 1952 as the title of a research project to study severe weather in parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas only.